Emmanuel College honors Sister Janet Eisner for her 40 years of leadership

FENWAY — 500 guests attended the special reception to honor Emmanuel College President Sister Janet Eisner of Notre Dame de Namur, the country’s longest-serving woman college president currently in office. Since her inauguration in 1979, she has led Emmanuel through a time of exceptional innovation, achievement and growth.

The party was held in a tent on the college’s Fenway campus.

The gala co-chairs were Leslie F. McCafferty ’76 and Margaret L. McKenna ’83 and the Campaign for Our Second Century Campaign is led by co-chairs Jack Connors Jr., Margaret L. McKenna ’83, and Mary Jo Skayhan Rogers ’77, with Honorary Campaign co-chair Maureen Murphy Wilkens ’56.

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap, delivered the blessing and invocation and there were remarks from Student Government Association President Jessica Wang ’19 and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who served as the honorary co-chair, which was followed by a gift presentation by Sister Anne Mary Donovan, SNDdeN.

Sister Janet also delivered her reflections. Attendees included John Harrington, Tom Hines, Boston College President Father William Leahy, Judge George O’Toole, and Judge Mary Elizabeth Heffernan.

Her tenure has had many high points including providing the founding vision for the Colleges of the Fenway collaboration; forging a partnership that brought Merck Research Laboratories to campus; and in 2000 leading Emmanuel’s transition from an all-women’s college to a thriving coeducational institution. Over the past 15 years, applications to Emmanuel have increased significantly, enrollment has tripled and the campus has been transformed by the building of the Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center, the Jean Yawkey Student Center and a new 18-story, apartment-style residence hall.

All photos by Bill Brett

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